First-time buyers: Shared equity scheme to help 10,000 buy homes

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The Independent Online

First-time buyers received a small boost with a new shared equity scheme, but industry experts question whether it will have a significant impact. The FirstBuy scheme will be available for a year to 10,000 first-time buyers looking for a new-build property, which could inject £250m into the sector.

Critics pointed out that George Osborne was in fact revising a measure similar to one which he scrapped after last year's general election, which had been introduced by Labour.

First-time buyers have struggled to get on the property ladder since banks started to demand bigger deposits. Most in the industry gave a cautious thumbs-up, but its impact is likely to be limited. Even if the maximum number of 10,000 applied in the first month, this only equates to one-third of the 29,923 mortgages approved in February.

Buyers will have to stump up a deposit worth 5 per cent. The Government and housebuilders would put in a 10 per cent deposit each, enabling the first time buyer to qualify for a 75 per cent loan-to-value mortgage. For those earning less than £60,000, the equity loan will be interest-free for five years.

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